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Mickey Baker's Complete Course in Jazz Guitar: Book 1 (Ashley Publications) Paperback


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Mickey Baker's Complete Course in Jazz Guitar: Book 1 (Ashley Publications) + Mickey Baker's Complete Course in Jazz Guitar: Book 2 (Ashley Publications) + Mickey Baker's Jazz Guitar (Guitar Books)
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Product Details

  • Series: Ashley Publications
  • Paperback: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Ashley Publications Inc./Lewis Music Publishing Co.; 1St Edition edition (September 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0825652804
  • ISBN-13: 978-0825652806
  • Product Dimensions: 11.9 x 8.8 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,013 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

I have spent a lot of money and a lot of time looking for a good instructor.
L. D. Rainey
This is a very practical book and one that any player having got the basics down should be able to start.
Chris Downing
This is a very organized and easy to understand book on jazz chords and substitutions.
jim

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

47 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Chris Downing on January 6, 2008
Format: Paperback
This is one of the few books I could get back in the mid 60's to help me understand what was going on in jazz chords. Mickey Baker teaches in this book rather like I was taught 50 years ago - look at these sets of chords, see how they sound better than a straight set of majors and minors, practice them like this exercise. And so on until you get better. Interestingly, Mickey talks about how much practice you should do - 2 hours a day and each lesson will take you about a week, he says - so there's a years work at 2 hours a day according to Mickey. But by that time you should be able to comp really well and solo over any jazz tune. (Well as well as you can get in one year anyway!) This is a very practical book and one that any player having got the basics down should be able to start. Some of the chords are difficult to finger - but who says playing is easy anyway? You'll find nothing here you can't use and an approach which is very much like all good player use - no unuseable chords or fingerings, no harmony or techique just for the sake of it. All good practical playing tools.

This book is pretty much the same as the blue version, which is revised and updated in it's layout. And there's a second book that's yellow and orange cover to follow this black and yellow book one (I know cause I've got them all).

By the way - being from the 50's these books don't have TAB. But as all the chords are charted and most of the music is written in simple keys like C D G F Bb, you should be OK. At this level of playing you should be able to do this sort of basic reading.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Guitar Guy on November 12, 2007
Format: Paperback
Mickey Baker Book 1 is a bit of a misnomer, it sounds like it could be a beginner's book, let me assure you it is not. You should have some guitar skills before tackling this book. It moves very quickly through the first few lessons (which will take you a while), but the exercises do help you develop an ear for jazz chord voicing and turnarounds. It's a great book and still a classic after 50 years!
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Michael J. Edelman TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 11, 2012
Format: Paperback
Almost every pro guitarist, and a lot of amateur ones, know the Mickey Baker books. A number of jazzers and rockers started out with them- Pete Townsend has said that he learned his chords from Mickey. This was the only specifically jazz oriented guitar method available back in the 50s when Mickey wrote it, and it's been in print pretty much continuously since then. That by itself should should tell you a lot. A lot of guitarists looking for a good jazz self-study course have looked at this book, and wondered if there was really much to be learned from few simple chord exercises and a few dozen riffs. Sure, there were a lot of good chords to be learned from it, but beyond that...?

Actually, there is a tremendous amount of information to be found in this book, but only if you follow Mickey's directions. He doesn't give you a lot of why- just "do this until you have it down." But if you do that, you'll find yourself internalizing a lot of important rules and skills that other teachers spell out. Those hokey sounding chord progressions that Mickey wants you to memorize and transpose to other keys are actually teaching you all the standard jazz substitutions. Mickey does spell out some of these rules in the second half of the book, but if you've done your homework you'll find that it's much easier to apply these rules to soloing if you've actually internalized them than if he had just told you that you could use a Lydian or Aeolian sub for a dominant chord in a 12 bar blues.

The second half of this book is all about learning to solo, and a lot of non-readers have looked at it, and been put off by the lack of tab. But you don't need reading skills beyond that absolute minimum to use this book. Mickey has provided all the fingerings below the staff for each exercise.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Lenn Feldmann on February 3, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is set up in 52 logical lessons... do one a week and make great progress in only one year... completeing this gives a terrific foundation to playing jazz. I use it as an extension to playing jazz on the accordion. The CordeenMan
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Gitfiddler on November 16, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I purchased this volume (and volume 2) 6 months ago or so and have been steadily working through the lessons. As for my skill, I'm an intermediate player with a solid chord vocabulary and a fair understanding of jazz harmony. Like most jazz guitar players, I want to know more. Aside from the low cost ($7.95), what most inspired me to consider these books was the "subtle" endorsement given them by Robben Ford in his "Art of Blues Solos" instructional video (which I enjoyed too). Ford stated that he worked through Mickey Baker's book when he first started playing guitar and... well, Ford is an awesome player!

Lesson 1 starts with Baker diagramming 26 chord forms and telling the reading to get familiar with them. The book does not use tab for showing chords, but the chord diagrams Baker provides are straight-forward. I suspect beginning players should want to break the chord forms down, by note, to learn which dotted fret is the root, 3rd, 5th, 7th, etc., for any given chord. The lessons that follow ask the reader to play melodies using specific groups of the 26 chords. Also, for some lessons, Baker asks the reader to transpose progressions from previous lessons into new keys and then practice playing them. As the lessons progress, Baker methodically introduces the reader to more chord forms, to single-note lines, chord vamps, progressions, and more... and more... and more. As other reviewers have pointed out, there are 52 lessons in volume 1, and so there is lots to learn.

The Baker books are simply designed for the reader to work at a comfortable yet steady pace, not become overwhelmed by discussions of theory, and to lean to play some cool sounding jazz melodies on the guitar. Beginning guitarists will likely have more difficulty but that would be due to a lack of mechanics than with anything else. With sufficient finger and chord exercises, playing troubles will diminish.

Bob
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